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Smith heroics cannot rescue South Africa

  • Story Highlights
  • Australia defeat South Africa in the third and final Test in Sydney by 103 runs
  • Visiting captain Graeme Smith bats with broken finger in attempt to save Test
  • South Africa win three-Test series 2-1 but Australia still top the world rankings
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(CNN) -- Australia stayed top of the cricket world rankings with a last-gasp victory over South Africa in a dramatic finish to the third and final Test in Sydney.

South African captain Graeme Smith was left to reflect on a series victory over Australia.

South African captain Graeme Smith was left to reflect on a series victory over Australia.

South African captain Graeme Smith came out to bat with a broken finger as his team attempted to salvage a draw, but he was bowled by Mitchell Johnson with just 10 balls remaining.

It left Australia winners by 103 runs, but South Africa claimed the the three-Test series 2-1.

The visitors needed to beat Australia to dislodge them from top spot in the ICC official Test rankings but their hopes of an improbable win disappeared in the morning session.

Needing a further 314 for victory with nine wickets remaining, the tourists saw Neil McKenzie (27), Jacques Kallis (4) and Hashim Amla (59) depart before lunch.

Australia scented a consolation victory after maulings in Perth and Melbourne and winkled out JP Duminy (16), Mark Boucher (4) and AB de Villiers for a battling 56 in the afternoon session.

Taking tea at 193 for seven, South Africa looked set to surrender tamely when Paul Harris was trapped leg before wicket by paceman Peter Siddle.

But tailenders Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini held out for over 17 overs, adding another 50 runs before Steyn was lbw to Andrew McDonald for 28.

That brought in the courageous Smith, who had been ruled out for at least six weeks with a broken finger and injured left elbow.

He survived for nearly half-an-hour and looked set to complete his task until Johnson achieved the final breakthrough with a swinging delivery.

Siddle, with match figures of eight for 113, was named man-of-the-match with Smith awarded the man-of-the-series trophy.

In other cricket action on Wednesday, New Zealand beat West Indies by seven wickets to level their one-day international series at 1-1.

Captain Daniel Vettori took four wickets for 20 runs as the West Indies were bowled out for 128 in Wellington. Ross Taylor then made an unbeaten 51 off 50 balls to see the Kiwis home.

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